CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — A 19-year-old from Lindenwold with a lengthy rap sheet is being held without bail and charged with trying to kill a police officer Wednesday night in a Camden neighborhood.
Patrick O’Hanlon, 21, has been on the Camden County Metro force for a year. Chief Scott Thomson says O’Hanlon suffered a serious bullet wound to his leg, but his prognosis is good, and it was a miracle given how what could have been.
“We believe that the gun jammed because it was so close to the officer’s body,” Thomson told KYW Newsradio. “And the officer had also grabbed the gun, which it being a semi-automatic firearm, it was not able to properly cycle through, which was extremely fortunate because it appears the suspect tried to shoot the officer a second time in the face, but the gun did not go off.”
Two fellow officers applied a tourniquet to O’Hanlon’s wounded leg and got him to Cooper Hospital. He is expected to remain there at least until Friday for observation.
The officers confronted three men on a street in Camden’s Centerville neighborhood. The suspect, identified as Delronn Mahan of Lindenwold, ran off. O’Hanlon chased him for about a block before Mahan allegedly pulled out a gun and fired a shot.
Authorities say Mahan is a member of the Crips drug gang who already has three felony convictions and now faces a half-dozen charges topped by attempted murder.
That fact has Camden County Freeholder Director Lou Cappelli scratching his head.
“How a scumbag thug like this guy was able to get a handgun is just beyond comprehension,” Cappelli told reporters. “Guns in this country are a public safety crisis. They also represent a public health crisis.”
He says members of Congress who act as what he called “a subsidiary of the NRA” have the blood of this officer and others on their hands.
As for O’Hanlon, he is expected to remain hospitalized for observation at least until Friday.
Thomson says community outreach efforts will be undertaken quickly in the Centerville neighborhood in order to assure residents that police are working hard to protect them.